Big names open 2020 PBA Season at the Big Dome

Big names open 2020 PBA Season at the Big Dome

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) kicked-off its 45th season on March 8, 2020 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with a star-studded presentation of personalities and legends inside and outside the court.

The opening night of the latest PBA season welcomed back on the Big Dome the country’s best basketball teams, who all showed-off their new compositions and their beautiful muses:   

  • Alaska Aces (with model Zowie Palliaer)
  • Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (with actress Sanya Lopez)
  • Blackwater Elite (with beauty queen Joy Wu)
  • Columbian Dyip (with beauty queen Katrina Llegado)
  • Magnolia Hotshots (with actress Kathryn Bernardo)
  • Meralco Bolts (with beauty queen Leren Mae Bautista)
  • NLEX Road Warriors (with athlete Pauline Lopez)
  • NorthPort Batang Pier (with athlete Christine Patrimonio)
  • Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (with actress Sarah Geronimo)
  • Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (with beauty queens Chaiyene Huisman & Klyza Castro)
  • San Miguel Beermen (with beauty queen Alyssa Muhlach)
  • TNT KaTropa (with beauty queen Ariella Arida)

The opening night of the 2020 PBA season was made momentous as the crowd honored basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a tragic accident last January. A mini tribute was given to the late athlete through a video presentation that shows his last visit at the Big Dome, the 2016 Black Mamba Tour. 

Local basketball legends Gil Cortez, Turo Valenzona, Orly Castelo, and Atoy Co were acknowledged. The reigning Binibining Pilipinas queens also graced the event. They all reminisced some of their memorable experiences and historic highlights at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

The event included the giving of the PBA Leo Awards for the 2019 season. The following players were awarded:

  • Most Valuable Player - June Mar Fajardo (San Miguel)
  • Mythical 1st team - Jayson Castro (TNT), CJ Perez (Columbian), June Mar Fajardo (San Miguel), Christian Standhardinger (Northport), Sean Anthony (Northport)
  • Mythical 2nd team - RR Pogoy (TNT), Stanley Pringle (Ginebra), Japeth Aguilar (Ginebra), Troy Rosario (TNT), Ian Sangalang (Magnolia)
  • Rookie of the Year - CJ Perez (Columbian)
  • All-Defensive team - June Mar Fajardo (San Miguel), Sean Anthony (Northport), Japeth Aguilar (Ginebra), Chris Ross (San Miguel), CJ Perez (Columbian)
  • Most Improved Player - Mo Tautuaa (San Miguel)
  • Samboy Lim Sportsmanship award - Gabe Norwood (Rain or Shine)

The evening capped off with the season’s initial match-off between San Miguel and Magnolia, in which the Beermen defeated the Hotshots (18-18, 45-33, 69-56, 94-78).